Wednesday, February 24, 2010

6 Years and 7 Princesses

I remember my 6th birthday. I got a scooter, and it was just warm enough to ride it around the cul-de-sac felt like I stayed out there for hours. It's a fun memory - but it scares me a little bit because I realize that McKenzie could very well remember today, or tomorrow, or yesterday for the rest of her life. Is that thought scary to anyone else!?

Well, who knows if she will remember her 6th birthday or not, but she definitely had a good time. :)

This past year with her has been one of my favorites. Kindergarten has turned her into a soaring butterfly - and she's beginning to capture the vision that she can fly as high as she wants. Her self-confidence has blossomed! And because of it, she is developing strengths in friendship-building, quick learning, speaking her mind, curiosity, independence, and boldness in exploring new ideas. This same self-confidence, however, brings challenges too. She's having trouble exploring her independence within the boundaries of home rules, and the level of sympathy she once felt for others has diminished. I feel these things will all equalize, and I will happily take the challenges that come with self-confidence as opposed to those that come with low self-confidence.

As always, she doesn't like cake. (I know. I've failed somewhere.) It's getting harder and harder to find a suitable dessert that she will love (cookies and brownies are also a no-go), but this year I threw a bunch of her favorite things together and came up with this beauty! I still have yet to coin a name for it...oreos, chocolate-chip mint ice cream, ganach topping, hot fudge and caramel.

Her birthday party was a couple days later. Seven beautiful princesses from her school class came to celebrate.

We painted their fingernails and sparkled their faces with a little blue eye-shadow and shiny lip-gloss...

...played some princess games like Poison Apple (hot potato)...

...magic wand ring pass...

...kiss the frog...

...princess and the pea...

...and ate ice cream cake.

After it was all over, McKenzie said "That was AW-SOME!"


Friday, February 12, 2010

Utah! People working together! Utah! What a great place to be!

Anyone who recognizes the song in the title gets 10 points. Anyone who has personal memories of this song, cheesy actions, and Swiss Days gets 287 points. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, consider yourself blessed...heaven help anyone who remembers watching the 'big girls' in back.

Anyway, the reason for this post:


We made a last minute flight purchase inspired by the good people at Southwest Airlines who believe traveling to Utah with 4 paying passengers should not require half of your annual income. We won't be staying for as long as we'd like (curse those responsibilities!), but we'd love to see as many of you as possible.

After splitting up the time between our two families, we have a few free hours on Wednesday morning (yes, this coming Wednesday, the 17th), from 9:00 till noon where we'd love to see any and all who can come up at my parents' house for brunch.

Shoot me an e-mail if you think you'll be able to make it, and let me know if you need directions to my parents' house. (If you don't have my e-mail address, feel free to leave a comment here with your RSVP.)

Can't wait to see you!

*About the picture at the top: Can I tell you how much I love my photography class!? I took this in response to the homework assignment, "Take a picture of something demonstrative of beauty." When it was time to evaluate mine, the teacher took a vote on how many people thought it demonstrated beauty, and how many people did not. One of the old men who said he did not think it demonstrated beauty said with a smile, "Well, it's not something I'd hang over my mantle, if you know what I mean." Ahhhh...refreshing honesty! (What??? You don't like the gnarly old tree branch sticking through the corner???)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Might as well call me grandma...

...cause that's what I felt like while I was trying to navigate through Facebook earlier today. And, you wanna watch me type a text message? Pull up a good thick cushion and get comfy. I'll have your 5 word sentence out before you can say, "I can't believe it's taking you so long to write such a tiny sentence. Your fingers look like they're full of lead, and you really should think about putting some lotion on them...they are UG-LY!!! Speaking of ugly, I saw this old, scraggly three-legged cat on the side of the road eating a mouse today. It was kind of weird, 'cause I had just watched this documentary about wild lions in Africa and, you know, since cats and lions are part of the same family and all, it totally made me think of that - though, I'm pretty sure a cat couldn't take down a zebra...especially if the cat only had three legs! Wouldn't it be weird if we had three legs? We could, like, invent so many awesome new sports! Soccer would be .... oh! You're finished!"

So, you may be wondering why I'm thinking so much about texting and facebook right now. Well, you see, I've been called to the Young Womens organization in our church, and that means I'll be working directly with a bunch of 12-18 year old girls. I was shocked when I saw that the four questions the Young Women secretary needed from me were:

1) When is your birthday?
2) What is your cell number?
3) Do you text?
4) Are you on Facebook?

Oh boy.

I fear that facebook will start consuming my life...poking and gifting and gaming, and what the devil is Farmville? Remember how I just posted about finally being able to let things go? I can't help but feel like I'm going in the opposite direction, here. And, what about pictures? It seems a little redundant to put pictures up on the blog AND on you do that?

Keeping up with status updates alone is a little overwhelming to me. It seems like every time I refresh my browser there are 3 more on there. If I don't check it for *gasp* a whole day, I'm dead meat... Does anyone want to guess how long I was just parked here on the couch surfing through facebook? 2 hours. HOURS. TWO of them!!! Did I mention the fact that I am literally sitting on a pile of laundry? (The couch is covered so I would fold it before I sat. Guess it didn't work.) Am I doing something wrong? Facebook and I have never meshed well. I've tried it valiantly two different times, and it almost seemed like I was adding another child into my life. There are just too many people to keep up with...too many lives to keep track of.

I guess I'm just concerned I won't be able to do it all when I have this cute little guy to keep up with...

...and this sweet 6-year-olds birthday party to blog about...

...and when I have to convince this little guy that he's not actually a princess, even though he is wearing the lip-gloss...

This is my life! This is what I want to be my life! Hmmmm....sounds like I'm babbling and floundering a little here. (This is what I call brain-vomit. Spitting everything out without editing or much thinking. Good for you for keeping up with me to this point!)

I guess it means it's time to find a new balance.

Any facebook lovers who have some advice on how NOT to let it consume your life?

Well, it's about time I start getting into the here-and-now. I guess if I don't keep up, I'll never be able to catch-up when my kids are old enough to be going through it. I have a feeling facebook and texting are only the beginning......

Monday, February 1, 2010

Snowstorm in all it's perfection

I've figured it out. The perfect snowstorm.

It starts with plenty of warning so you can stock your fridge and pantry with extra milk, cheese, eggs, formula, fruit and vegetables to carry you through the following week. The temperatures are soaring in the upper 40's and 50's the day before the first flake so you can send the kids outside to play while you check all the flashlight batteries and restock your fresh water supply. The snowstorm starts on a Friday evening...after the kids and hubbies are all safe in the home, but early enough that you can go catch a few snowflakes on your tongue and build a miniature snowman. It then snows all Friday night and you wake up early Saturday morning to a fresh, beautiful, sparkling landscape. A 9-inch thick blanket of white that covers everything you see in a quiet stillness.

You live in a place where snow is rarely experienced, and temperatures fluctuate above and below the freezing point often enough that the danger of ice becomes real...and everyone bows to the power of nature. Plans are rescheduled, shops are closed, and church is canceled...leaving you with a full weekend to enjoy the beauty and thrill of the snow without interruption. The powerful sun starts working almost immediately after the storm - seemingly embarrassed it let things get so cold - and the winter landscape slowly starts to melt into a memory.

It only took me 120 pictures to finally get one with the drop falling (ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY!!!) So, even though the drop is out of focus, I still want you to be impressed.

In the short meantime, you comfortably sled down your icy road (you don't even have to dig out your sleds, because cookie sheets work just fine.)

You drink lots of hot chocolate. You have friends over for homemade pizza,

then drive 25 mph to their house the next night for homemade soup and apple pie. You ignore the pile of coats, hats, gloves and scarves that are piled up at your back door. You hunker down inside and play games on Daddy's 'i-pad'.

You eat a lot of snow.

As you tuck the kids under their warm blankets you can't stop thinking about the three inch layer of ice that covers the road in front of your house...and when you come out of the kids' room, your handsome hubby already has his tread-worn shoes on his feet, ready for skating. You fall in love again as you hang onto his arm while you skate up and down the road in the quiet darkness.

You simply enjoy what's left and sadly admit that it's probably better to end a situation when you're still having fun. That way, the memories are all sweet, and you look forward with nothing but excitement towards the next perfect snowstorm.